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For This Town, the Sky Really Is Falling

For This Town, the Sky Really Is Falling
Jackie Reddy

An evacuation slide from a passing Boeing aircraft fell and landed in the yard of a Milton, Massachusetts home on Sunday. No injuries were reported, but residents are concerned over the potential for further incidents in their community. In 2010, the body of a stowaway fell from an inbound craft.

An evacuation slide from a passing Boeing aircraft fell and landed in the front yard of a Milton, Massachusetts home on Sunday, reports The Boston Herald. But according to the outlet, this is not the only instance of slides deploying on the manufacturer’s 767 aircraft; back in 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an airworthiness directive over “multiple reports of uncommanded escape slide inflation…during normal airplane maintenance or operation.”

No injuries were reported and the slide is believed to have come from the wing of an inbound Delta Air Lines flight from Paris. The incident comes as Boeing is undergoing global scrutiny for two fatal crashes involving its 737 MAX planes.

No Injuries, but Another Near Miss for Milton

Speaking of the incident, Michael Zullas, Milton Select Board Chair, said, “We dodged a bullet. We’re thankful no one was injured,” but he added that “…a lot of people in Milton are angry. This is the second time in 10 years that something fell out of the sky over Milton.”

The other incident to which Zullas referred happened in 2010, when the body of a stowaway fell from a plane that was preparing to land at Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS).

But Zullas says he is looking for the FAA to take accountability. “Our community and many communities are suffering under the incessant noise and pollution created by these superhighways in the sky. The FAA needs to be held accountable and for once provide answers and remedies.”

For Cindy Christiansen, a resident of Milton, the concern is for the potential damage that an incident like this could have in such a heavily populated area. “You’ve got to get these planes away from all these people,” she said.

FAA Maintains These Incidents Are Rare

The FAA, however, has said that these are rare incidents.

In a statement quoted by the outlet, it said, “We investigate each incident thoroughly, and we work closely with air carriers to correct problems. If we find a systemic problem, we share that information with other operators to avoid future occurrences.”

While no official cause for Sunday’s incident in Milton has been given, Professor Ed Coleman of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University offered his insight into what may have happened as the plane was preparing to land.

“As you slow down, that takes pressure off and a faulty latch can lift off. I am very curious about what led to this. It’s usually sealed pretty well in the wings,” he told the outlet.

In a statement, Delta said, “Our maintenance team is inspecting the aircraft; at this time we do not have any additional information.” Boeing did not offer further comment.

[Image: Facebook/Milton Police Department]

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